Registered under the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe

23 August 2012


 Part of the group of unpublished writers that underwent writing skills training workshop at the Music Centre, Mt Pleasant.

Writers International Network Zimbabwe and its partner Global Arts Trust have successfully concluded the 2012 short story writing competition that ran from July to August 10 and the follow-up writing skills training workshop held on August 17 at the Music Centre, Harare.

Speaking before the conclusive workshop’s afternoon ceremony to award winners in the short story writing competition, Guest of Honor, Emmanuel Sigauke applauded WIN/GAT for taking up the challenge to develop new writing talent in Zimbabwe.

“Writers and poets have a fuller vision on the lives of the people around them,” Sigauke told about 37 aspiring writers who had undergone the training workshop facilitated by renowned writer Memory Chirere.

Chirere had taken the aspiring writers on a journey of short story writing the whole morning until 1pm. The training proved enlightening to the unpublished writers, making them realize aspects and perspectives they never thought or imagined existed about short story writing.
Guest of Honor Sigauke, who is also WIN Board member, spoke on the importance and joy of writing, urging the new writers to read as widely as they can to sharpen their writing skills.

“There are three types of reading. There is reading as a writer, then reading for pleasure and lastly reading for exams,” he said.

Although he conceded that writing is a long journey, he said it is a very rewarding adventure.

Turning to the short story writing competition which had preceded the workshop, Sigauke told the new writers how lucky they were to be exposed to free writing competitions.

“In Africa, Zimbabwe in particular, the writing competitions hardly charge an entry fee. In the USA, there are lots of these writing contests but charging not less than $15 as entry fee,” said Sigauke.

Although he left Zimbabwe in 1996 for the USA to pursue further studies, Sigauke said he had not lost touch with literary events happening in his home country.

He said, via the internet, he has been exposed to Zimbabwean literature and has been an active player in its field.

He urged aspiring writers to get involved with online platforms and journals such as Mazwi, the WIN blog, Memory Chirere’s blog, Chisiya Echoes, Mototi, Kwani (Kenya), Chimurenga (S Africa), and the African Roar short story annual anthology.

The Munyori Literary Journal which Sigauke established has featured various Zimbabwean writers and poets. The Munyori Journal, said Sigauke, is now registered with the US Congress of Libraries, a move that will see the journal’s readership escalating internationally.

As an editor, Sigauke said he understood how agonizing a rejection slip is to a starting writer but said starting writers at times should experience rejection so that they are motivated to write better.

“You cannot be rejected where you did not write,” said Sigauke who was visibly happy to see students from Glen View 2 High, a school at which he once taught.

Sigauke said he is an advocate for teaching creative writing. “Can writing be taught? Yes. It helps you find a craft form for what you want to write,” he said. In the USA, Sigauke teaches creative writing at Cosumnes River College.

Flashing back to his days when he was a budding writer, Sigauke said the then Budding Writers Association of Zimbabwe (BWAZ), of which he was the founding member, launched him on a road of writing and he hasn’t and will not give up writing. Winners Scoop Book Prizes

Lung-cracking comedians Toropito and his friend Thompson General warmed the workshop participants with exciting comedy and drama a few minutes before the next segment which included announcement of winners, book prize-giving and speeches.

Before the announcement, some participants could be heard heaving long-drawn sighs of expectation as the list of winners was handed over to the Director of Ceremony, Monica Cheru. As there was no age-limit to the competition, a mixed-bag of winners came up.

Although the Certificates of Participation were there, they could not be presented due to forces beyond WIN’s control. However, participants have started collecting theirs from the office.

Guest of Honor Sigauke, flanked by the facilitator, Memory Chirere, GAT representative poet Tinashe Muchuri, Glen View 2 High and Bilaal Academy writers’ clubs patrons, presented the prizes to winners.

First prize in the Shona language category went to Ali Simbi, whose short story Kukurukura Hungwe Wapotswa scored highest with 70 marks out of 100. The adjudicator’s comment described Simbi’s story as ‘a very touching episodic short story’. Supa Mafuta from Epworth, scooped second prize with his story titled Kuyambutsa Datya which scored 60 marks out of 100. The third prize was won by Glen View 2 High student Evelyn Chiradza for her story titled Zuva Randisingakanganwi which scored 50 marks out of 100.

A consolation/4th prize was given to Justice Gondoto for his story Rwendo Nebhazi.

In the English category, Karen Maturure of Gwebi College scored highest marks, scooping the first prize with her story Pandemonium. Pandemonium scored 69 marks out of 100. Bilaal Islamic Academy of Epworth carried home two prizes in this category with students Panashe Banda scooping second prize and Anna Makore co-winning the third prize (with Mt Pleasant student Portfer Gwengweni). Panashe Banda’s short story Wife Used Husband to Carry Letter to Boyfriend, scoring 67 marks out of 100, was described by the adjudicator as an excellent story. Anna Makore’s story A World of My Own scored 66 marks and was also described as an excellent piece indeed. Gwengweni’s short story A Wild Saturday to Recall, described as ‘electric and imaginative’, scored the same marks as Makore’s story.

A consolation or 4th prize was presented to Freedom Gengezha for his story titled Rising above the Mediocre.

A surprise category, Special Junior Writer Prize,  meant to encourage primary school pupils to have a passion for reading and writing went to Panashe Mushambi from Nettleton Primary School (Harare) Mushambi’s short story titled David, the brave Young Man, scored 52 marks out of 100 and was described by adjudicator as ‘fairly good and folkloric’.

The above stories won book prizes which included the Write Idea, Writer’s Choice  language books donated by Zimbabwe Reads and copies of some books such as In The Night by Richard Spilman, SPC Tule Review (2011 & 2012), Consumes River Journal (2012), donated by Sigauke and general books donated by Weaver Press.

Glen View 2 High and Bilaal Academy Writers’ Clubs received ten Write Idea books each.

Soon after the book prize giving ceremony, Tinashe Muchuri, speaking on behalf of Global Arts Trust, emphasized how much the late Walter L Muparutsa loved to promote aspiring artists in Epworth via WIN Epworth Community Outreach Programme. In his speech Muchuri also reiterated how the partnership between WIN and Global Arts Trust is strategic. He pointed out that since some WIN members produce scripts, the partnership is beneficial to them as Global Arts Trust has the acumen to assess & develop the aspiring scriptwriters, and possibly adapt the scripts for the stage, radio, television or film.

Afterwards, WIN director Beaven Tapureta said that the combined competition & workshop was the first of its kind for WIN and promised this shall become annual.

He explained that the next activities, ceteris paribus, would be a short story anthology, and a poetry anthology that embraces English, Shona and Ndebele languages. Tapureta also reminded the new writers about the third edition of the Writers’ End of Year Get Together that will take place in December this year. 

Later Ms. Grace Chapfiwa, a self published Christian author of the book, Seasons of Purpose, made the vote of thanks before she closed the day with a prayer.

The combined Short Story Writing Competition & Writing Skills Training Workshop was organized by WIN in partnership with Global Arts Trust, supported by Zimbabwe Reads, an organization that promotes reading culture in Zimbabwe through book donations to libraries, organizations and schools. The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (Harare Provincial Office) also supported the WIN/GAT event by unveiling the wonderful venue for free. 



  1. wonderful and inspiring!!!


  2. wish was therre, missed this one bt count me in in the next. U ar doin great job WIN,